Trevor Pearce
University of North Carolina, Charlotte
This essay is an attempt to explain why Charles Sanders Peirce’s evolutionary metaphysics would not have seemed strange to its original 1890s audience. Building on the pioneering work of Andrew Reynolds, I will excavate the scientific context of Peirce’s Monist articles—in particular “The Law of Mind” and “Man’s Glassy Essence,” both published in 1892—focusing on the relationship between protoplasm, evolution, and consciousness. I argue that Peirce’s discussions should be understood in the context of contemporary evolutionary and physiological speculations, many of which were featured in late- 1880s issues of Open Court, sister journal to the Monist.
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DOI 10.1086/695760
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The Cell and Protoplasm as Container, Object, and Substance, 1835–1861.Daniel Liu - 2017 - Journal of the History of Biology 50 (4):889-925.

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The Artificial Cell, the Semipermeable Membrane, and the Life That Never Was, 1864–1901.Daniel Liu - 2019 - Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 49 (5):504-555.

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